2011 Games Mascots Come to Kamloops!

Julie Dormer – Mascot Chair

Kamloops, BC– The new 2011 Western Canada Summer Games Mascots will be arriving in Kamloops at the “One Year to Go” countdown celebration on August 10! The milestone event starts at 11:00 am at Hillside Stadium and promises to be the community spirit festival of the summer.

Paula Kully, Community Programs Coordinator for the 2011 Games states, “This event is more than just a countdown to the 2011 Games. It is a celebration of community spirit, volunteerism and the love of sport and healthy lifestyle that is so vibrant in Kamloops. Everyone needs to come out to Hillside Stadium and show their support! It’s going to be an important day”.

Festivities include a free BBQ hosted by the City of Kamloops, live entertainment by the Blues Jumpers, draw prizes every 11 minutes including a weekend at Sun Peaks Resort, balloons, face painting and prizes for the kids, a live performance by Kate Morgan of the song she has written for the Games, plus the first ever appearance of the 2011 Games Mascots!

Julie Dormer is the most recent addition to the 2011 WCSG team. She has taken on the role of Mascot Chair for the Games. She would only say this about the furry pair; “People are going to love the Games Mascots! We are keeping them a surprise so if you want to see them you have to come out to the One Year to Go Celebration on August 10th”.

Julie has lived in Kamloops most of her life and has found a unique way to give back to the community. Like many people in Kamloops she has volunteered countless hours over the years but her favorite is being a mascot.

Her fascination with acting in large, hot, often cumbersome costumes began in 1992 when she was still in high school. She responded to an ad in the paper for mascots for the 1993 Canada Summer Games which were hosted in Kamloops that year. “Many people here in Kamloops remember Buttercup and Cactus. They were very popular and I’ve even seen people still wearing their t-shirts! I was Buttercup. Sometimes I played Cactus, but most of the time I was Buttercup”.

After the 93 Games Julie was addicted. She loved the opportunity to pretend to be somebody else. “In a way you feel like a celebrity because the character is, and even if nobody knows it’s you in the suit, you still get the feeling of what it’s like. People will see you and come running over to shake your hand or give you a hug.”

After the 93 Games, she went on to play Aberdeen Andy for a year; the Mall’s Marmot mascot. “At the time I was about 17,” she recalls. “Because the costumes get really hot, I would spend 20 minutes in the costume as Andy, then 20 minutes out shopping. When you’re that age, what better job could there be!”

It is evident how seriously Julie takes her role of mascot, when she recounts one of her worst experiences. She was standing in the heat in the Buttercup costume, through an hour of speeches. Buttercup suddenly began to sway and she realized she had to get out of the costume and drink some water!

Julie as Sumi during the Olympics One Year to Go

When asked about her most memorable experience it is hands down playing the role of an Olympic Mascot for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics! Julie played Sumi during the One Year to Go celebration in Kamloops and most recently, Quatchi when the torch relay came through the city. “It was a highlight for me. How many people can say they were an Olympic Mascot? It was a huge honour”, she says.

The 2011 Games are fortune to have Julie with her years of hands on experience. As Mascot Chair, she will be organizing and training the mascot volunteers. The Mascots will appear at numerous community events over the next year and will be prominent during the Games when they take place from August 5 to 14, 2011.

The Mascots will be unveiled on August 10 at the One Year to Go Celebration at Hillside Stadium. The event begins at 11:00 am and everyone is welcome to come and join the celebration! For more information about the One Year to Go or for mascot booking information check out the Games website at www.2011wcsg.ca.

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